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Governor O’Malley Announces Preservation Of Wildlife Habitat,
Forests And Farm Land In Dorchester, Charles Counties
Acquisition Protects Habitat for Endangered Delmarva Fox Squirrel
ANNAPOLIS – Governor Martin O’Malley today announced the Board of Public Works has approved preservation of more than 1,435 acres of a family farm along the Little Blackwater River in Dorchester County and 275 acres of wetlands and forests in Charles County under Stateside Program Open Space.
“Preservation of the Good Luck family farm will provide an extraordinary opportunity to safeguard significant wildlife habitat, protect forest lands and the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay,” Governor O’Malley said. “At the same time, we are preserving a working, family owned farm that has made important contributions to our agricultural economy and our cultural legacy.”
The property is one of the largest, privately owned contiguous tracts of land in the county and provides habitat for a variety of plant and wildlife species, including the endangered Delmarva Fox Squirrel. The forests and wetlands also provide a natural buffer that helps protect water quality on the Little Blackwater River, a tributary to the Nanticoke River and the Chesapeake Bay.
The board approved $200,000 through stateside Program Open Space for Maryland’s contribution to the $1 million easement, which the Maryland Department of Natural Resources will hold in partnership with the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, the Nature Conservancy and the federal Fish and Wildlife Service.
The farm is owned by sisters Flora Knauer, Sue Saathoff and Frances Saathoff.
“This family is the epitome of why we want to maintain our Eastern Shore heritage for future generations,” said Meredith Lathbury, Director of Land Conservation for the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy. “Their dedication to the land that they grew up on is a true gift to the community.”
The land being preserved in Charles County includes non-tidal wetlands and uplands forest that will become part of the Nanjemoy Natural Resources Management Area, along the tidal Potomac River. The easement will safeguard wildlife habitat and provide expanded opportunities for environmental education and recreation.
The Dorchester and Charles county properties are high priority conservation acquisitions under Maryland’s new Program Open Space Stateside Targeting System. The ecologically based targeting approach was developed last year under Governor O’Malley’s BayStat Initiative to ensure the state is protecting the most strategically important landscapes to provide a lasting legacy for future generations.
Since 2007, Governor O'Malley and the BPW have preserved more than 6,651 acres of natural areas for public recreation and watershed and wildlife protection across Maryland. Since 1969, Program Open Space has provided funding for acquisition of 324,125 acres for open space and recreation areas. Most Maryland residents live within 15 minutes of an open space or recreational area funded Program Open Space.
Chaired by Governor O’Malley, the Board of Public Works is also comprised of Treasurer Nancy Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot. The Board is authorized by the General Assembly to approve major construction and consultant contracts, equipment purchases, property transactions and other procurement actions.
August 20, 2008
Contact: Olivia Campbell
410-260-8016 office I 410-507-7525 cell
Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 449,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov